My Chemical Romance is following up its hit 2006 album “The Black Parade” with the long-awaited and elaborately titled “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.”
It’s a concept album, and like most modern concept albums, has a storyline that cannot be deciphered by merely listening to the album. Based on the music videos, it seems to involve the band members fighting a corporation or government agency (with lasers).
Lyrical meaning aside, the album also jumps between genres more than any of the band’s previous efforts. The band continues the trend it began when it veered (if ever so slightly) from its explicitly emo “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” to the more mainstream “The Black Parade.”
Songs like the single “Na Na Na” take a pop-punk approach, which is sensible considering the band’s background. “Party Poison” takes the pop-punk attitude and makes it danceable in a fashion similar to Fall Out Boy. “Planetary (GO!)” is a straight-up dance tune but doesn’t dissolve into party music.
My Chemical Romance’s fans shouldn’t worry about the musical experimentation mentioned above. Something that might be worrisome is the band’s foray into straightforward popular rock.
The instances are few, but two of the tracks sound equally ready for pop radio and rock radio. It’s not Nickelback, but any semblance of edginess is gone. One works out great. The other, not so much.
“SING” sounds just as syrupy as its entirely capitalized title suggests. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the other pop track, “The Only Hope For Me Is You,” is the best track on the album. A ballad like this is a far cry from the band’s earlier hits, such as “I’m Not Okay (Trust Me),” but it’s still satisfying.